The Answer are a four-piece rock band from Downpatrick, County Down. They released their fourth album New Horizon last September, and tour the UK, Europe and Ireland in February and March. Singer Cormac Neeson talks about life in the band.
You’ve got a lot of touring coming up – are you looking forward to it?
I can’t wait. Each tour begins as a work in progress. We’re rehearsing now, and I know after we play the first show we’ll still be making changes. It’s ongoing until you’ve done four or five shows. That doesn’t mean those shows before are any less intense, but we’re always searching for our perfect setlist.
Do you like the idea of having two months on the road?
I kind of do. Even before the band took off I took every chance to travel.
I’d go to America to work in a pizza place for a few months, or go to Europe and see what was happening there. I loved travelling and life on the road, moving around.
That’s one of the reasons being a singer in a band is my perfect job.
Don’t get me wrong, after two months on a tour bus I’m very happy to get home to Belfast and sit in the same room for a while.
You go off to Europe in march and then tour the uk again afterwards?
Yes. The tour’s called The Road Less Travelled, so we’re going to all the places we’ve never been before.
It’s a lot of shows, and the venues are smaller than we’d normally play, but anywhere we go in the world, we have people on Facebook saying, ‘Why don’t you play in my town?’.
You supported ac/dc when they last toured, and Paul Rodgers in the past – do you prefer playing those arenas, or smaller shows?
It takes us back a few years playing the small venues, and that’s where we cut our teeth on the Northern Irish circuit. I like being near the crowd, looking in their eyes and having fun. Crowd interaction is important, and you miss that when you’re playing the big venues, as good as it is to be on a stage that big.
Do you have to take care of your voice when you’re on tour?
I do, yeah. We think about the pacing of the set, so if there are six songs where I’m belting it out, the seventh better have a 30-second guitar solo so I can get a drink of water and rest for a second. I can’t do that 40 nights in a row. There’s a lot of drinking, too, I’m not going to lie to you, so if it means going to bed at 5am rather than staying up till 8am, I’ll do it. I can’t be unable to sing if there are people paying good money to come and see us - but I do have a good time as well.